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The Buck Stops Here

Posted 8/20/2008 9:07am by Catskill Merino.
Merino sheep flock.  They move in a group, they graze in a group and always prefer high ground when they camp.  Here, the ewe flock beds down on a small knoll in mid-morning to chew their cuds after having grazed the lower pasture. 
Merino ewes have a flock rule: no direct eye contact.  They like to be alone when they are together.  Mistakenly or not, if a ewe catches another ewe staring at her, she will butt heads with the voyeur.  Back and forth they go—Don't look at me,  I wasn't looking at you,  Yes, you were,  No, I wasn't—but the girls butt gently not violently like the rams who will draw back 15 feet or more and charge full force.  Just before contact the rams lower their heads, like boxers rolling their fists, to maximise the blow.  They will butt heads until one is as dazed as Brett Favre, backs off and signs with the Jets. 
Butt 1
Butt 2
These young bucks weigh 200 lbs or more.  On a windless day, you can hear their horns collide from a quarter mile away.  Flock dominance must be determined.  Mirror, mirror on the wall who's the baddest of them all.